4/18

Ben Miller Band

Arkansauce

All Ages | 8 pm

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Ben Miller Band

Ben Miller – vocals/guitar/banjo
Scott Leeper – one-string washtub bass
Doug Dicharry – drums/trombone/trumpet/mandolin/electric washboard/spoons

"I like the idea of saying something very complicated in a very simple way," says Ben Miller, discussing the trio that bears his name. "That's what we strive for musically, and what I strive for lyrically—to get directly to the point and save the flowery b.s. for the romantic poets. John Sargent, the painter, said 'That which is not necessary is detrimental,' and we try to live by that."

Since its formation in 2004, the Ben Miller Band has staked out a singular niche that's established the Joplin, Missouri threesome as both a potent creative force and a perennial fan favorite. Any Way, Shape or Form, the BMB's New West debut release, showcases the seasoned threesome's fierce creative spirit and infectious performing chemistry, as well as Miller's melodically catchy, lyrically resonant songwriting.

On Any Way, Shape or Form, the Ben Miller Band channels a century's worth of wide-ranging influences into 13 new songs that radiate with energy, smarts and soul. The result is music that's wholly contemporary, while ringing with ages-old echoes of bluegrass, delta blues, Appalachian mountain music and more. A stew they lovingly call “ozark stomp.”

Miller writes roots-rocking barnburners ("The Outsider," "Burning Building"), thoughtful ballads ("I Feel for You," "Prettiest Girl") and left-field departures ("23 Skidoo") with melodic skill and lyrical insight, and the band elucidates them with urgency and eloquence. While those tunes show off Miller's songwriting craftsmanship, a memorable workout on the traditional "The Cuckoo" underlines the band's interpretive abilities.

The hard working threesome has already won a substantial—and still-growing—grassroots fan base through old-fashioned ingenuity and an unstinting work ethic. Their D.I.Y. success helped to win the band its current deal with New West, and led to some high profile touring with ZZ Top, thanks to the enthusiastic patronage of avowed fan Billy Gibbons. Opening for ZZ Top on a 2013 tour of Europe, the humble BMB wowed unfamiliar crowds on stages in large halls and arenas, including a triumphant set at the fabled Montreaux Jazz Festival.

The Ben Miller Band's homespun, self-reliant approach extends to the lo-tech, and largely self-built, instruments that the members play on stage and in the studio, e.g. singer-songwriter Miller's thrift-shop guitars and banjos, bassist Scott Leeper's one-string washtub bass – comprised of a weedeater string attached to a wooden pole – and Doug Dicharry's varied arsenal: trombone, trumpet, mandolin, electric washboard and electric spoons.

The band's use of offbeat instrumentation, however, shouldn't be misunderstood as a gimmick. Instead, the three bandmates have mastered the technical challenges of their unconventional axes to produce a uniquely evocative ensemble sound that offers a compelling frame for Miller's compositions.

"What I really care about is songs, and the rest of it is just a vehicle to get you to that destination," Miller asserts, adding, "Just because we use junk to make music doesn't mean we aren't serious about it."

"Our sound," Dicharry notes, "is something that we never thought much about. It's just something that kept growing without us really trying, and at some point we realized it sounded pretty cool."

"The instruments that we use ," Miller explains, "were originally born out of necessity, because we didn't have any money. People would give us their old gear that didn't work anymore, and we'd wire things together and try things out in different permutations and see where it led us. Through a lot of trial and error, we arrived at the set up that we've got now. Blazing your own trail through the jungle can take a lot of extra time and effort, but it gives you a chance to end up in a place that nobody's been to before."

That sense of musical adventure has long driven Miller and this bandmates from the start. Growing up in rural Curlew, Washington, Miller began playing guitar at 16, turning his back on a promising career as a visual artist to pursue his passion for music. He gained experience busking and performing in open mic nights while roadtripping around America, and during an extended stint in Eastern Europe.

Miller eventually found kindred spirits in bassist Scott Leeper, who'd been playing since the age of seven and had performed with his family's band, in a duo with his brother, as a one-man country act and in a variety of blues combos; and Doug Dicharry, a musical omnivore and multi-instrumentalist, who can play nearly any instrument and has played in a wide array of projects from noise bands to ska and rock.

The three like-minded players joined forces, and soon their diligent touring regimen allowed them to conquer an ever-widening geographical base and win a loyal live audience. In 2012, the Ben Miller Band took its first tentative steps in the recording studio, resulting in the embryonic self-released CD Heavy Load, which attracted a good deal of fan praise and critical acclaim despite its humble origins.

The same maverick spirit that motivated the BMB's early musical adventures came into play in the recording Any Way, Shape or Form, which they cut with seasoned producer Vance Powell, who's renowned for his studio work with the likes of Jack White, Buddy Guy, Wanda Jackson, Willie Nelson and Kings of Leon.

"Our original plan," Leeper notes, "was to scale it down a bit, and have it be even less produced than the first one. It came out sounding like us, which is all we really want."

"It was the first time we'd really had a producer/engineer," Dicharry notes, adding "It felt like we could finally breathe, because Vance was on top of things and got some really cool textures. We had a lot of confidence in him, so we were comfortable just going in and laying it down."

"We wanted to keep it as live as possible," Miller asserts, "so we recorded it live and did lots of takes, on average around thirty takes before we felt we really nailed it down. That was important to us because we’ve been a live band for our whole career and we wanted that to come across in the recordings, that feeling of guys playing in a space together. We worked long days in the studio for about a month, just playing the songs over and over and working to push our performances and maintain the energy of what we do.”

With Any Way, Shape or Form encapsulating the Ben Miller Band's salient qualities, the three intrepid bandmates are eager to hit the road and bring their new songs to live crowds around the nation and around the world.

"Our plan," Leeper says, "is to just get out there and play for as many people as we can. That's pretty much been our plan all along, and it's worked for us so far."

"The title Any Way, Shape or Form is sort of our way of saying that by any means necessary we will make the music that makes sense to us,” Miller explains. “That’s always been our attitude, and that’s how we’ve gotten to where we are and how we will get to where we are going.”

OUR LINKS


Arkansauce

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    4/19

    Farmers Ball 2019 Finals

    18 & Over | 7 pm

    Farmers Ball 2019 Finals

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      4/20

      Droids Attack

      Inner Alter
      Snowchild
      They Watch us from the Moon
      PLUS MORE (SEE BELOW)

      All Ages | 8 pm

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      Droids Attack

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        Inner Alter

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          Snowchild

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            They Watch us from the Moon

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              Automatic Wolf

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              4/23

              Tenth Mountain Division

              All Ages | 8 pm

              Tenth Mountain Division

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                4/24

                Dizgo

                All Ages | 8 pm

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                Dizgo


                Dizgo is a four-piece jam band from Bloomington, IN. Since their formation in 2016, the band has built a strong following in the Midwest, packing rooms and building a buzz in the festival circuit. Known for their electrifying performances, Dizgo reels in fans with their unique blend of funky, electronic rock - shredding guitar, synth driven grooves and accessible vocals.



                  4/25

                  Deal Casino

                  Knife Crime

                  All Ages | 8 pm

                  Deal Casino

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                    Knife Crime

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                      4/26

                      Thank You Scientist

                      Kindo
                      In the Presence of Wolves

                      All Ages | 7 pm

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                      Thank You Scientist

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                      Kindo

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                        In the Presence of Wolves

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                          4/27

                          Hembree

                          Cowboy Indian Bear

                          All Ages | 8 pm

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                          Hembree

                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!

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                          Cowboy Indian Bear

                          Cowboy Indian Bear is a band from Lawrence, KS featuring members of The Jen Say Kwahs, and Kennedy Luck Club. We are recording our first album with the wonderful Joshua Browning and are planning to release a three song preview for that album by the end of 2008.

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                          5/2

                          Sons of Funk

                          All Ages | 8 pm

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                          Sons of Funk

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                            5/3

                            Mountain Sprout

                            All Ages | 8 pm

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                            Mountain Sprout

                            Mountain Sprout is a highly energetic hillbilly music machine, spitting original tunes and blowing minds with original whitty lyrics and face melting musicianship. The Sprouts are a full time working band and play shows all year round for anyone who will listen. Whether it be Grayson VanSickle playing his machine gun banjo, singing out the novel of our lives or guitarist Adam Waggs, who yanks up the melody up by the ear and keeps you kickin'. With a smile on his face, Daniel Redmond pulls out cannon fire notes pounding the stand-up, dog house bass, and Blayne Thiebaux gives the crowd a spectacular show, burnin' rosin and bendin' air, exploding the fiddle while bursting into flames. Together, they are MOUNTAIN SPROUT.

                            Playing around 250 shows a year, including music festivals, concert halls and backwood hole in the walls. They have performed in venues large and small. From opening up for national icons Willie Nelson and Leonn Russel to performing with jam band titans such as Yonder Mountain String Band and Wide Spread Panic. You can find them hanging out with home grown legends like Split Lip Rayfield, Randy Crouch and countless other amazing musicians. Always opening up another beer or a sheltered mind at the local and not-so-local bars, MOUNTAIN SPROUT is always truly a crowd favorite.

                            After forming several renditions, the band made a final pact in ‘06. Since then MOUNTAIN SPROUT has released multiple recordings preceded by the infamous “Pornobilly”(2005) that earned a place in everyones heart. Then officially releasing their original debut album "One More for the Ditch"(2007), followed by a collection of traditional tunes entitled "Fambilly Hour"(2008), and tapped from source with another CD of original songs called "Into the Sun"(2009). With there latest smash hit album for the collection “Habits to Feed”(2010).

                            Now with much more to come from the Mudstomp Records family and the Pipeline Productions power house, Mountain Sprout is here to push the limits! Just make contact with plenty of advance notice so that you too can enjoy the live supernatural performance of the Mountain Sprout and if you all just want to party, well thats we do best, so let us set the mood for an amazing experience anytime; every time.

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                            5/4

                            Music House School of Music Showcase

                            All Ages | 2 pm

                            Music House School of Music Showcase

                            MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                              5/4

                              Arthur Dodge & the Horsefeathers

                              Suzannah Johannes +Band

                              All Ages | 8 pm

                              Arthur Dodge & the Horsefeathers

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                                Suzannah Johannes +Band

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                                  5/9

                                  Shoebox Money

                                  Jean Claude and the Eclairs
                                  Cavves
                                  The Arsonist

                                  All Ages | 7:30 pm

                                  Shoebox Money

                                  Returning from a 9 month hiatus in April of 2017, Shoebox Money found a lineup that really works and discovered their sound with original members Patrick and Ben W. (Bass and lead guitar/harmonica) paired with new members Ben S. and Dylan (vocals/rhythm guitar and drums). Drawing equally from classic rock and blues as well as post garage rock revival and alt punk, these indie rockers produce theory driven music and put on high energy live shows.

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                                  Jean Claude and the Eclairs

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                                    Cavves

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                                      The Arsonist

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                                        5/10

                                        Play Dead

                                        All Ages | 8 pm

                                        Play Dead

                                        As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead in 2015, this group of talented and eclectic musicians has come together to celebrate the remarkable repertoire and live experience of the Grateful Dead. More than what you’d expect from a typical tribute band, this group embraces the foundation of what made the Dead’s sound so unique by creating a landscape of masterful improvisation, rich harmonies and beautiful melodies across all genres of music.
                                        While this group of players has never before taken the stage together, they have all been in connection for more than 20 years and possess over a century of experience writing, teaching, performing and producing music. Boerger and Comparato have played and performed together in the L.A. Ramblers, The Deal, The Coyote Project and most recently Stranger Tractor. Additionally Boerger’s music roots include Tofu Teddy, The Red Zone, The Parlor Frogs, Diamond Eyed Jack & Flint Gray. Hoopes’ credits include The EZ Pieces, Ardys & Bradford, The Secondhands and with Mahoney, venture back into the 80’s with the east coast jam band MoonRocks. Hoopes and Hamm have played together in The Yards since 2003. Bassett and Mahoney are a seasoned and accomplished percussion duo with numerous credits for session work as well as their performances in their bands Sunu (in which both Bassett and Hamm play), Truckstop Honeymoon and 40 Watt Dreams (in which Mahoney play).

                                        Together Play Dead produces an uncanny rendition of a part of musical history that was genius, ahead of its time and may never be experienced again. To say the music and culture of the Grateful Dead had a profound effect on the course that music has taken over the years is a grave understatement. Whether you’re a card carrying Deadhead, a Hi-Fi music aficionado or just a music junkie who loves a good groove you will not want to miss Play Dead.

                                        Let The Music Play The Band!

                                        Dylan Bassett - Percussion
                                        Brad Boerger - Guitar, Vocals
                                        Joe Comparato - Bass, Vocals
                                        Michael Hamm - Guitar, Vocals
                                        Bradford Hoopes - Keyboards, Vocals
                                        Kelly White - Percussion

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                                        5/16

                                        Coral Creek

                                        All Ages | 8 pm

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                                        Coral Creek

                                        ORAL CREEK opens a new chapter this fall, releasing and touring in support of a breakthrough album produced by Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth. The self-titled album, CORAL CREEK, marks the beginning of a new era for the Colorado-based Americana/Country-Rock/Jamgrass band, as the first release with standout keyboard player Bill McKay and Grammy Award Winning fiddle player, Luke Bulla.

                                        McKay, best know for his roles with Leftover Salmon and Derek Trucks Band, joins songwriter/guitarist Chris Thompson at center stage, singing leads and contributing to the bands extensive repertoire of original material. Nashville fiddler, Luke Bulla, who earned a Grammy Award with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, comes to CORAL CREEK via Lyle Lovett Band, Jerry Douglas Band, John Cowan Band and Kentucky Thunder. Luke is also a distinguished vocalist and songwriter.

                                        CORAL CREEK is a Colorado band on the rise, featuring a diverse catalog of original music spanning the genres of rock, country/bluegrass, cajun, folk and island music. While the new self-titled album sits squarely in the Americana category, CORAL CREEK live performances transport audiences from the beaches of the Caribbean, down to the bayou and back up high into the Colorado Rockies – with instrumentation ranging from mandolin and fiddle to congas and steel pan.

                                        The counter-balance to McKay’s fiery piano is the acoustic guitar of singer/songwriter Chris Thompson, stylistically blazing new trails inspired by Jerry Garcia and Tony Rice. Rob Garland (bass) and Jack Watson (drums) lock down the rhythm section, while Luke Bulla elevates the music with a soaring bluegrass fiddle and high lonesome vocals.

                                        Since forming in 2010, CORAL CREEK has performed on festival main stages, concert series and clubs across the US, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, sharing stages with distinguished musicians including Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Bill Nershi and members of The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Infamous Stringdusters and other fine acts. With the addition Bill McKay on keyboard and Luke Bulla on fiddle, CORAL CREEK is a rising tide in the swirling jamgrass sea.

                                        CORAL CREEK, the album, features new original songs by Chris Thompson and Bill McKay, plus instrumental contributions by Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett Band), Andy Thorn (Leftover Salmon), Anders Beck (Greensky Bluegrass), Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth), Tyler Grant (Grant Farm), Arthur Lee Land (Great American Taxi), Scott Messersmith (formerly of The Motet) and Tanya Shylock (True Blue Band).

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                                        5/18

                                        The Jubilee Mystics

                                        All Ages | 7 pm

                                        Early show: 7pm doors
                                        Show from 8-9:30

                                        The Jubilee Mystics

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                                          5/23

                                          The Moose

                                          Party Fridge
                                          Cavves

                                          All Ages | 8 pm

                                          The Moose

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                                            Party Fridge

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                                              Cavves

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                                                5/24

                                                Lucas Parker Band

                                                3 Son Green

                                                All Ages | 8 pm

                                                Lucas Parker Band

                                                Rock and roll for jazz people, jazz for rock and roll people.

                                                Hailing from Lawrence, KS, Lucas Parker Band is comprised of some of the area's favorite players taking on the compositions of guitarist, Lucas Parker, a Lawrence native. Comprised of Chris Handley on bass, Sam Goodell on keys, Taylor Babb on drums, and Carl Spaeth on Tenor Sax, the Lucas Parker Band will throw it down every time. So hard.

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                                                3 Son Green

                                                Since 2007, 3 Son Green has been interweaving their vast web of sound, sense, and solidarity into the ever‐evolving architect it has become. Their RockJamJazzFunk style breaks genre bylaws, and pulls crowds out of their seats everywhere they play. 3 Son Green’s intricate songwriting combined with their natural improvisation is guaranteed to satisfy every music lover’s palette. Their well fueled, expanding flame has, even now, lapped at the feet of the music world at all manner of festivals across the Midwest. These Kansas City grown virtuosos are vaulting to new heights, and leaving no slack behind.

                                                Jamie Anderson – Guitar/Vocals
                                                Evan Carlson – Guitar/Vocals
                                                Steven Pearson – Drums
                                                Trey Green – Bass/Vocals

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                                                5/25

                                                Struggle Jennings

                                                Big Buzz
                                                The Stixxx

                                                All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                Struggle Jennings

                                                Struggle Jennings was destined to be an Outlaw.. The grandson of legendary Country Music icon Waylon Jennings, Struggle is part of a long legacy of Gangsters, Outlaws and Rock Stars.. Growing up as a black-sheep in his family, he fought his way out of the streets of West Nashville and into the studio where he would create the foundation for what has become his personal contribution to the Jennings family legacy..



                                                  Big Buzz

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                                                    The Stixxx

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                                                      5/26

                                                      An Evening with Paul Gilbert

                                                      All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                      An Evening with Paul Gilbert

                                                      Today’s the day. The 17th solo album by acclaimed guitar maestro PAUL GILBERT (Mr. Big), I CAN DESTROY, is out now via The Orchard on iTunes, Amazon, and major retail outlets. A video for the album’s first single, “Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal,” can be seen on PAUL’s official YouTube page.

                                                      A full album stream premiered yesterday on AllMusic.com, while various interview video clips with PAUL GILBERT have premiered throughout the past week on GuitarWorld.com, GuitarPlayer.com, GuitarAficionado.com, UltimateClassicRock.com, ModernDrummer.com, and MusicRadar.com.

                                                      “My guitar playing was born from playing in my teenage heavy rock bands,” GILBERT explains. “After playing for 40 years, I’ve been able to evolve the way that I see the fretboard, and how I hear the guitar in my head. This opens up my soloing, and also my writing. I couldn’t have written this music when I was a kid. I couldn’t have written these lyrics either. I needed time to live…to experience joy, and anger, and love, and frustration at people who don’t use their turn signals.”

                                                      It’s no accident that I CAN DESTROY cuts a wide swath of styles and textures, from the full-frontal assault of“Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal” to the jazz-blues lament of “One Woman Too Many” (which also features GILBERT’s patented four-pick Makita drill-bit riffery) to the radio-friendly balladeering of “Love We Had” to the smoking-hot gut/heart punch of “I Am Not the One (Who Wants To Be With You),” the latter track’s title a playful reference to the ubiquitous #1 hit GILBERT enjoyed as part of his gig as lead guitarist for the still-going-strong Mr. Big.

                                                      GILBERT knew that I CAN DESTROY producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Rush, Joe Bonamassa), whom he previously collaborated with on Mr. Big’s 2011 release WHAT IF, would push him to do his best from the get-go. “One thing I knew about working with Kevin as a solo artist is that there weren’t going to be that many overdubs on the record — not that many takes, and not many fixes,” he reports. “As a musician, that puts the fear into you. It’s a good fear, and it made me want to prepare in a pretty healthy way.”

                                                      With Shirley onboard to get behind the board, GILBERT next had to cull together some top-drawer musicians to bring into the studio. “On drums, we’ve got Thomas Lang, who’s somewhat of a drumming legend, and on bass is Kevin Chown,” details Gilbert. “He was the only guy I’d never worked with before, and he was great. He played all the right stuff. He’s played with everybody from Chuck Berry and Little Richard to Sebastian Bach.”

                                                      I CAN DESTROY is already racking up rave reviews. Guitar World proclaimed, “Gilbert’s dazzling guitar work is at the center of a group of songs that vary stylistically from the Iron Maiden/Judas Priest vibe of the title track, to the Thin Lizzy/Boston-like ‘Knocking on a Locked Door’ and ‘One Woman Too Many,’ to the Steely Dan-flavored strains of ‘I Will Be Remembered.’” While in a separate story, GuitarWorld.com declared, “...Gilbert cuts a wide swath of styles and textures. There's the full-frontal assault of‘Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal,’ the jazz-blues lament of ‘One Woman Too Many’ (which also features Gilbert's patented Makita drill-bit riffery) and the gut/heart punch of ‘I Am Not the One (Who Wants to Be with You).’”

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                                                      5/29

                                                      Lucid Vision

                                                      Tortuga

                                                      All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                      Lucid Vision

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                                                        Tortuga

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                                                          5/30

                                                          SkeletonWitch

                                                          Soft Kill
                                                          Matrtyrod
                                                          Wiegedood

                                                          All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                          SkeletonWitch

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                                                            Soft Kill

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                                                              Matrtyrod

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                                                                Wiegedood

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                                                                  6/1

                                                                  TTNG Performing Animals 10 Year Anniversary

                                                                  Le Grand
                                                                  Via Luna

                                                                  All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                  TTNG Performing Animals 10 Year Anniversary

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                                                                    Le Grand

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                                                                    Via Luna

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                                                                      6/5

                                                                      Thrill Kill Kult

                                                                      Curse Mackey
                                                                      ASMO

                                                                      All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                      Thrill Kill Kult

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                                                                        Curse Mackey

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                                                                          ASMO

                                                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                            6/7

                                                                            The Fleeting Lights

                                                                            with special guests announced day of show

                                                                            All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                            The Fleeting Lights

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                                                                              with special guests announced day of show

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                                                                                6/9

                                                                                Knuckle Puck + Citizen

                                                                                Hunny
                                                                                OSO OSO

                                                                                All Ages | 6 pm

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                                                                                Knuckle Puck + Citizen

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                                                                                  Hunny

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                                                                                    OSO OSO

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                                                                                      6/11

                                                                                      Falsifier

                                                                                      VCTMS w/Cavil

                                                                                      All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                      Falsifier

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                                                                                        VCTMS w/Cavil

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                                                                                          6/12

                                                                                          Set it Off

                                                                                          Emarosa
                                                                                          Broadside
                                                                                          Lizzy Farrall

                                                                                          All Ages | 6 pm

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                                                                                          Set it Off

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                                                                                            Emarosa

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                                                                                              Broadside

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                                                                                                Lizzy Farrall

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                                                                                                  6/13

                                                                                                  Kurt Allen Band

                                                                                                  Tim Buding

                                                                                                  All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                  Kurt Allen Band

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                                                                                                    Tim Buding

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                                                                                                      6/14

                                                                                                      Truck Stop Love

                                                                                                      Godzillionaire
                                                                                                      Headlight Rivals

                                                                                                      All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                      Truck Stop Love

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                                                                                                        Godzillionaire

                                                                                                        Heavy space rock from Lawrence, KS.

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                                                                                                        Headlight Rivals

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                                                                                                          6/20

                                                                                                          Taylor Phelan

                                                                                                          Joy Camp

                                                                                                          All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                          Taylor Phelan

                                                                                                          Taylor Phelan is a songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and indie-rock artist. Phelan was raised within a tight-knit musical family in his home state of Texas and began to play guitar and write his own songs at 16, cutting his teeth at coffee shops. He started his professional career as the founder and frontman for the Chicago-based alternative band, The Canes. In 2014, Phelan was a favorite contestant on the seventh season of NBC’s hit reality series, The Voice, an experience that revealed his tremendous talent as a solo artist. In 2015, shortly after signing with the indie label, Native Nine Records, Phelan gravitated back to his southern roots and teamed up with Nashville-based producer Joshua D Niles to work on his first collection of solo material. Now touring the country with a powerhouse backing band, his debut EP will be released in Summer 2017.

                                                                                                          OUR LINKS


                                                                                                          Joy Camp

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                                                                                                            6/21

                                                                                                            Deadfest 2019

                                                                                                            All Ages | 3 pm

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                                                                                                            Day long hip hop showcase

                                                                                                            Deadfest 2019

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                                                                                                              6/28

                                                                                                              40 Oz to Freedom ( Sublime Tribute)

                                                                                                              All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                              40 Oz to Freedom ( Sublime Tribute)

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                                                                                                                7/16

                                                                                                                Alex Di Leo

                                                                                                                All Ages | 7:30 pm

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                                                                                                                Alex Di Leo

                                                                                                                Every song from Alex Di Leo is an automatic escape from day-to-day life, a retreat into a state of mind that’s more hopeful and carefree and full of possibility. With his soulful vocals and crystalline melodies, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter delivers an impassioned breed of indie-pop that melts away everyday worries and leaves the listener inspired to live more fearlessly.
                                                                                                                Given their transportive power, it’s fitting that so many of Di Leo’s songs are sparked by his adventures in visiting new cities all over the country and across the globe. “I’m always most motivated to write when I’m in a place I’ve never been before,” says the 22-year-old artist. “Even just riding on the plane when I’m traveling somewhere new seems to do something to me, and the melodies just start to come together.”



                                                                                                                  7/18

                                                                                                                  Gold Frankincense & Myrrh

                                                                                                                  All Ages | 8 pm

                                                                                                                  Gold Frankincense & Myrrh

                                                                                                                  MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                    7/19

                                                                                                                    Lawrence Field Day Fest 2019

                                                                                                                    All Ages | 6 pm

                                                                                                                    Lawrence Field Day Fest 2019

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                                                                                                                      7/20

                                                                                                                      Lawrence Field Day Fest 2019

                                                                                                                      All Ages | 6 pm

                                                                                                                      Lawrence Field Day Fest 2019

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                                                                                                                        7/26

                                                                                                                        Sophistafunk

                                                                                                                        All Ages | 8 pm

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                                                                                                                        Sophistafunk

                                                                                                                        Fans across America are talking about Syracuse-based Sophistafunk, the product of three multi-talented musicians — Adam Gold, Jack Brown, & Emanuel Washington — who combine spoken-word artistry, old-school hip hop, & funky rhythms to create a unique live band experience.

                                                                                                                        The band met in 2007 and rapidly evolved into a national-touring live act. Known for their HUGE sound (created by only three members), the band has won over crowds with a captivating stage presence and tight musicianship. Rooted by old school funk / hip hop, the trio explores electronic dance grooves while infusing each tune with soul and positively charged lyrics. Sophistafunk is a multi-genre tour de force, jam packed with vintage tones and live instruments.

                                                                                                                        For six years, this road warrior band has been hitting the pavement and blowing minds across the United States. They’ve collaborated live with greats spanning Bernie Worrell (Parliament/Talking Heads) to Nikki Glaspie (Beyonce/Dumpstaphunk) and were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives when Gold’s restaurant and music venue, Funk n’ Waffles, was featured on the show on December 25, 2012. Host, Guy Fieri, dug the band so hard, they’ve since played his birthday party in Santa Rosa, CA and became the first band ever to play the International Home and Housewares Convention in Chicago, IL on March 3, 2013, by Fieri’s personal request.

                                                                                                                        Sophistafunk has played high-profile venues including The Blue Note Jazz Club (NYC), The Boom Boom Room (San Francisco), The Belly Up (Aspen), Brooklyn Bowl (NYC) and more and supported acts including Soulive, G. Love, Foreigner, Trombone Shorty, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, EOTO, Marco Benevento and more. They’ve also gained attention from publications including New York City’s Village Voice and Beyond Race Magazine.

                                                                                                                        OUR LINKS


                                                                                                                        8/4

                                                                                                                        Summer Salt

                                                                                                                        Dante Elephante
                                                                                                                        Motel Radio

                                                                                                                        All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                                        Summer Salt

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                                                                                                                          Dante Elephante

                                                                                                                          MORE INFO COMING SOON!



                                                                                                                            Motel Radio

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                                                                                                                              8/10

                                                                                                                              Kindo

                                                                                                                              All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                                              Kindo

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                                                                                                                                8/14

                                                                                                                                Lost Dog Street Band

                                                                                                                                All Ages | 7:30 pm

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                                                                                                                                Lost Dog Street Band

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                                                                                                                                  8/23

                                                                                                                                  Amanda Fish

                                                                                                                                  All Ages | 7 pm

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                                                                                                                                  Amanda Fish

                                                                                                                                  Amanda Fish began as a singer songwriter in late 2012, refining her original material as a solo act for 2 years before she formed her band in early 2014, a Roots Rock and Soul project featuring Amanda's signature 'from-the-gut' vocals locked into a sturdy groove.

                                                                                                                                  In 2015, she released her first LP, "Down In The Dirt", on VizzTone Label Group, for which she was awarded the 2016 "Sean Costello Rising Star" Blues Blast Music Award. Amanda and her band set Beale Street on fire in the 2017 International Blues Challenge Semi Finals, playing new material slated for her next release.



                                                                                                                                    Sky Smeed at The Bottleneck June 14th

                                                                                                                                    Sky Smeed at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    Sky Smeed (Image via http://www.skysmeed.com)

                                                                                                                                    Sky Smeed is a singer-songwriter from Chanute, Kansas. Smeed’s latest release is the album Drive All Night. Music has always been a big part of his life. “My grandfather played guitar, fiddle, and banjo. He showed me how to play G C and D chords when I was about ten years old. My father wrote songs and played harmonica while driving, “ Smeed says.

                                                                                                                                    Sky Smeed at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    Sky Smeed (Image via http://www.skysmeed.com)

                                                                                                                                    Sky is inspired by musicians such as Guy Clark, Anders Osborne, Mike West, Robert Earl Keen. “They all write songs you can latch onto and immediately feel. They aren’t afraid to throw some humor in there,” he says.

                                                                                                                                    Sky Smeed plays The Bottleneck June 14th with Corb Lund.

                                                                                                                                    Satsang: Helping People Move to a Place of Self Love and Care

                                                                                                                                    Satsang at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    Satsang (Image via http://www.satangmovement.com)

                                                                                                                                    Satsang is a Montana-based conscious music collective. They combine reggae/roots music and bluegrass instrumentation to form their sound. Guitarist/vocalist Drew McManus recently discussed how he became passionate about reggae, the formation of Satsang and how the band uses their music to encourage a positive mindset. Satsang plays The Bottleneck June 11th.

                                                                                                                                    What was your earliest musical memory? Were your parents musical?

                                                                                                                                    The one that keeps coming to mind is my mom dancing around the house with me in her arms to “Achy Breakie Heart” by Billie Ray Cyrus when it first came out. I clearly remember being like “What is this crap?” Then I saw his hair and my suspicions of his gooberness was confirmed My parents were both very musical. My mom has a beautiful voice and used to be in the Nashville Songwriters Guild. She wrote country songs. My dad plays guitar, bass, drums. He has always played in whatever church he attended. They both definitely played a huge part in me starting playing.

                                                                                                                                    You skillfully blend roots music and roots instrumentation. What first got you interested in reggae and bluegrass?

                                                                                                                                    I was introduced to reggae through punk rock initially. I loved Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, U.S Bombs etc and then heard Rancid and Catch 22. Then when I took my first trip to Chicago at like 15 I met a bunch of my sisters homies that were all tattooed skater dudes that listened to Roots Reggae. Toots, Skatalites, Old Marley, Desmond Decker, etc Then I started digging in on my own and found Marley’s later works. Catch a Fire on changed me entirely as a person, particularly Survival. As far as bluegrass, I dug it during my hippie phase in my late teens but don’t really get down to it. I met David and during the time he was in the band, the mandolin just kind of worked. But I have never had deep emotional ties to bluegrass. For me it has always been reggae and good hip hop that have moved me, and folk/rock most recently. Our van is a great place to get a grasp on what we like, it is so vast. It is not uncommon to hear Bright Eyes, Kendrick Lamar, Coltrane, Common, and Wilco all in like a 45 min drive.

                                                                                                                                    How did Satsang first come together?

                                                                                                                                    Satsang first came together after a pretty heavy time. I was a practicing alcoholic/addict and was just kind of wasting away in Chicago. When I moved to Montana, I got it together for a bit and then slipped right back down. After a really intense spiritual experience, the support of my amazing partner Summer, and an extended stay in the Himalaya… a flood gate opened. I just started writing everyday. It kind of just hasn’t stopped for like 3 years. Anyway, I came back from Nepal with these songs, linked with David, we started just playing/touring and then when his health got to a point where he couldn’t tour, I rebuilt the band with one of my oldest friends in the world, Karl. He produced this new record The Story of You and we added Keller and have just been moving forward and evolving.

                                                                                                                                    You write very conscious lyrics. What inspires you lyrically?

                                                                                                                                    I get inspiration from everything. I listen to a lot of hip hop. As far as song writing style, I draw a lot from conscious hip hop delivery and style. I have had a pretty gnarly first half of life. Came from an abusive home, struggled with addiction, have lost a lot of homies to addiction and through a lot of grace, prayer, and work I have come out the other side with Dharma intact. I see so many people who become victims of their stories. I was one of them for a long time. But the power that we can attain through acceptance of our past, and not just acceptance, but growing to love what it taught us and how it molded us. There is so much power in that. So for me, that is my purpose. Not with every song. The over all mission for Satsang, for me, is to help people move into a place of self love and care. When people love themselves, reaching their highest potential, doing tough self work, etc becomes much much easier.

                                                                                                                                    Do you try and record your tracks as live as possible?

                                                                                                                                    Recording is funny for us, we do it differently than most bands I know. Karl and I made The Story of You in my home. Just worked like 14 days straight through on it. On good days, I can record guitar parts on 1 take and usually knock out vox in one shot. The next record may be recorded almost entirely live. Keller is such a phenomenal drummer, unreal and live. He goes off. So, we are in talks right now of how we want to approach this next record. The songs are written and we have some stems done but we are all really turned on by that kind of recording. That’s how it all used to be done. Do a live take, and then come back and get weird over top of it.

                                                                                                                                    Satsang at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    Satsang (Image via http://www.satsangmovement.com)

                                                                                                                                    What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?

                                                                                                                                    Challenges in this line of work are never ending. Reforming the new band was definitely a trip. Karl was living in Chicago, Keller was in a bunch of projects. We were in between agents, didn’t have management. We stayed way prayerful and just kept grinding. Made the record, I kept hounding our current agent and management team. It all came together amazingly. We are so exited about our band and our team. If you keep working, it generally works out. I am also blessed to have a lot of big brothers and uncles in our musical family that have provided endless support and advice.

                                                                                                                                    Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

                                                                                                                                    So many quotes. I have a lot of people I look up to. Malcolm, Fred Hampton, King. The one I have hand written on a sticky pad in front of my desk is,

                                                                                                                                    “Stay focused, work hard, remember to pray, trust the process.”

                                                                                                                                    But another favorite is:

                                                                                                                                    “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” – Malcolm X

                                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?

                                                                                                                                    Figure out what you want out of your music. Do you want to do it for a living? Just want to make it to make it? Does it matter to you if it gets noticed or is it just for you? All of them are fine! Figuring out what you want from it is step 1. For someone aspiring to be a professional musician: Practice a lot, ask questions, see how other people do things and adapt your own plan off of things you see that work, and be patient… which is the hardest part.

                                                                                                                                    The Hornitz Bring Their Grooves to The Bottleneck June 4th

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                                                                                                                                    The Hornitz (Image via http://www.thehornitz.com)

                                                                                                                                    The Hornitz is a Boston-based duo. The band features trombonist Friendship and tenor sax player Stoobacca. Their groovy songs and passionate live shows have been winning over fans nationwide.

                                                                                                                                    The Hornitz’s songs have a very live, energetic feel. The band often build their songs through looping. “When you’re in a band that records all sounds to loopers, live, figuring out ways to make that process as concise and/or interesting as possible is hugely important. Arrangements for my favorite The Hornitz songs are such that the building of the loops is the song,” says Friendship.

                                                                                                                                    The Hornitz at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    The Hornitz (Image via http://www.youtube.com)

                                                                                                                                    The band is all about bringing the fun to the people. “If something makes you smile, smile at it! If something makes you want to dance, dance! Life is too short to be self-conscious in a crowd of people who are all there to have a good time,” Friendship says. The Hornitz bring their funky jams to The Bottleneck June 4th with Mangosteen.

                                                                                                                                    Get Hip to the Hip Abduction

                                                                                                                                    Hip Abduction at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    The Hip Abduction (Image via https://thehipabduction.com/ )

                                                                                                                                    The Hip Abduction combines African music, reggae and more to create their unique sound. The Florida-based band creates joyous and energetic music.

                                                                                                                                    “The Hip Abduction started informally back 2007 as a solo project, but we really started to create the sound we have today in 2010-2011. We all met in St. Petersburg, FL over our mutual love of African music, reggae, surfing, and jamming,” said bassist Chris Powers.

                                                                                                                                    Powers became interested in world music because of Paul Simon’s classic album Graceland, “As I grew older, I began to research the musicians on the album and get into music from all over the globe. I am now surrounded by musicians who love music from around the world.”

                                                                                                                                    The Hip Abduction (Image via http://consequenceofsound.net/ )

                                                                                                                                    The band is lyrically inspired by “far-away places, travel, dreams, the sunny spot in the sand in your mind.”

                                                                                                                                    Take a musical journey with the Hip Abduction when they play a FREE SHOW at Th Bottleneck July 20th.

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love Brings His Uplifting Reggae Vibes to The Bottleneck May 17th

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love (Image via http://www.hawaiianreggae.org )

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love is a Hawaiian reggae artist. His passion for music and positive mindset are inspiring. “We are challenged to wake up every day and create something positive, effect a positive change,” he says.

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love’s musical journey began when his father would improvise a song every night to sing him to sleep. Bob Marley’s Legend was the album that started Love’s interest in reggae.

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love (Image via http://www.mikelovemusic.com/ )

                                                                                                                                    Love began writing songs at 15. Love is known for his conscious lyrics, “The lyrics come from another place, I couldn’t tell you where exactly, but it’s not inside of me. I just make myself open to them and they come.” The lyrics help him to become more centered, “They are like lessons that I need to learn, about appreciating my family, learning from my environment, anything and everything.”

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love’s passionate advice to artists just starting out is inspirational,  “Be honest, write and play music about the things that are meaningful to you so that the passion is there behind the message you’re conveying. Remain humble and realize that all music is a gift and just as its given it can be easily taken away by things like vanity and greed.”

                                                                                                                                    Mike Love plays The Bottleneck with Kansas City-based band 77 Jefferson May 17th.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    An Interview with The Sluts

                                                                                                                                    The Sluts

                                                                                                                                    The Sluts bring seedy rock to the people. The Lawrence-based duo of Kristoffer Dover (drums) and Ryan Wise (guitar) play The Bottleneck May 6th.

                                                                                                                                    Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
                                                                                                                                    Ryan: My parents weren’t very musical but my uncles and my grandfather all played acoustic guitars at family gatherings. Mostly gospel and old country songs.

                                                                                                                                    What was your earliest musical memory?
                                                                                                                                    Ryan: My first clear memory of music in my life would be riding in my dad’s 1989, sky blue, T top, Camaro listening to this oldies station out of Springfield, MO. It was 105.1 or 105.3. It was a stellar station. He really loved Heart Full of Soul by The Yardbirds. When it would come on, my dad would play air guitar and get really excited. I distinctly remember the lead guitar in that song feeling so electric and having a big effect of me. I wanted to hear more rock and roll like that. He always played great music in the car. He would play these Jan and Dean tapes and they were my favorite for a long time when I was little. He also had cassette copies of Springsteen’s Born in the USA and Born to Run in the car. They were on heavy rotation as I recall.

                                                                                                                                    What was your first concert?
                                                                                                                                    Ryan: My uncle, Harry, took me to my first real rock show. The bill was Slaughter, Quiet Riot, Night Ranger, and Ted Nugent. I think I was ten and I was so happy to be at a rock show. I saw a girl smoking a joint with her boobs out, I got to sip a little beer, and my balls probably dropped right then. Don’t tell my mom.

                                                                                                                                    How did The Sluts first come together?
                                                                                                                                    Ryan: I was between projects and wanted to be in a band, but I was tired of working with musician types. I found that their egos far outweighed their abilities. I just couldn’t find a drummer willing to simplify their part enough to

                                                                                                                                    The Sluts

                                                                                                                                    The Sluts (Image via http:www.lawrence.com)

                                                                                                                                    compliment the songs I was writing. I lamented to Dover about it and he bought a drum kit off Craigslist and we started meeting Saturdays. Our friend Thom Glandzman is nice enough to let us practice in his garage. We’d get a bit drunk and try to write a tune every week. After about a year of doing that, we realized that we had about a 14 song setlist we weren’t ashamed of. So we started booking shows and people didn’t hate it right away. We still just rehearse and write one day a week.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Your studio tracks have a very raw sound. Do you try and record your songs as live as possible?
                                                                                                                                    Ryan: We do like a more natural, raw recording but we do overdub guitars and vocals to achieve a certain tonality. We track  drums with me in a booth playing and singing the song. So it is played live but we got back and replace most of the guitars and record double guitar tracks. Then we go back and replace the vox. We do one clean and one dirty and blend that sound to get that scratchy, walkie talkie tone you hear on our recent recordings.

                                                                                                                                    You’re playing The Bottleneck May 6th. What do you enjoy most about playing Lawrence?
                                                                                                                                    Kris: The venues are all a few blocks from where we live, and every time we play a crowd of people we don’t know show up and sing our songs back at us. Why bother touring when you have such a badass scene literally in your back yard?

                                                                                                                                    What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
                                                                                                                                    Kris: Only our own laziness, drunkenness, and occasional self-doubt.

                                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
                                                                                                                                    Kris: Make music that you like, put it out there, and see if it deserves attention. That’s called being legitimate. Don’t manufacture something and then strive desperately to make it famous. That’s called being pathetic.

                                                                                                                                    Eleanor Friedberger: The Bottleneck Interview

                                                                                                                                    Eleanor Friedberger (Photo by Joe DeNardo)

                                                                                                                                    Eleanor Friedberger (Photo by Joe DeNardo)

                                                                                                                                    Eleanor Friedberger is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She is an acclaimed solo artist and is also a member of the Fiery Furnaces. Eleanor recently discussed her approach to songwriting, the creative atmosphere of college towns and advice to artists just starting out. Eleanor Friedberger plays The Bottleneck April 26th.

                                                                                                                                    You come from a musical family. What was your earliest musical memory?
                                                                                                                                    There are too many to know which came first. Probably sitting in the choir loft, watching my grandmother sing.

                                                                                                                                    What was the first album you bought?
                                                                                                                                    The first single I bought was an Eurythmics 7″ of “Sweet Dreams.” I played it on my Fisher Price record player. I think the first tape I bought was the soundtrack to the movie Stand By Me or Paul Simon’s Graceland. The first CD I bought was Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy.

                                                                                                                                    You are a multi-instrumentalist. What was the first instrument you learned how to play?
                                                                                                                                    I learned guitar first. My brother bought me an electric guitar for Christmas and wrote down a few chords in a spiral notebook and charts for “Sweet Jane” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

                                                                                                                                    How does your creative approach work when writing songs? Do you start with lyrics or melody first?
                                                                                                                                    I start with the lyrics first, probably 95 percent of the time.

                                                                                                                                    What inspires you lyrically?
                                                                                                                                    Conversations– first-hand or overheard, text messages, lines from movies, awkward situations.

                                                                                                                                    What was the first song written for New View?
                                                                                                                                    The first songs written, and the ones I spent the most time on were “All Known Things” and “Open Season.”

                                                                                                                                    You’re playing The Bottleneck April 26th. What do you enjoy most about playing Lawrence?
                                                                                                                                    I think of Lawrence as an archetypal Midwestern college town. I spent a lot of time as a teenager hanging out in Champaign-Urbana, IL, so I feel very at home in that environment. I can easily sink into the laid-back, creative atmosphere.

                                                                                                                                    Eleanor Friedberger (Image via http://www.eleanorfriedberger.com)

                                                                                                                                    Eleanor Friedberger (Image via http://www.eleanorfriedberger.com)

                                                                                                                                    What are your hobbies outside of music?
                                                                                                                                    For the past few years I’ve been trying to hone my DIY home repair skills; everything from painting, dry wall mudding, hanging insulation, gardening, tree pruning, etc.

                                                                                                                                    What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
                                                                                                                                    Accepting that I don’t have a plan B.

                                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
                                                                                                                                    You have to be okay with living in the moment and not know where things will take you from month to month. That kind of instability isn’t for everyone. Oh, and practice!

                                                                                                                                    Drawing Inspiration from the Physical and Dream Worlds: A Conversation with Haunted Summer’s Bridgette Eliza Moody

                                                                                                                                    HAUNTED-SUMMER_BAND-650x440

                                                                                                                                    Haunted Summer (Image via YouTube)

                                                                                                                                    Haunted Summer is a Los Angeles-based band comprised of husband and wife duo Bridgette Eliza Moody and John Seasons. Bridgette recently discussed the band’s beginnings, the collaborative nature of their creative process and drawing lyrical inspiration from their physical world and dream world. Haunted Summer plays The Bottleneck Open Mic Night as a special guest May 9th.

                                                                                                                                    Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
                                                                                                                                    Yes, we were both fortunate to grow up with parents who either played or really loved music. It definitely flows in through the blood and everyone is best at different things, so a supergroup usually manifests if there’s too many of us together at once!

                                                                                                                                    What was your first musical memory?
                                                                                                                                    Pretty much all of my first memories are musical, probably dancing around in the kitchen singing R.E.M. or U2 with my mom.

                                                                                                                                    What was the first album you bought?
                                                                                                                                    I was obsessed with essentially collecting various but all too similar compilations of “60’s Greatest Hits” as a kid. I’m sure Spice Girls probably broke that streak.

                                                                                                                                    What was your first concert?
                                                                                                                                    First one I remember was Randy Newman at the Hollywood Bowl, though I wish I could remember seeing Lou Reed in utero, haha!

                                                                                                                                    What do you enjoy most about the music scene in LA?
                                                                                                                                    It’s definitely a buffet of music. You want it? You got it.

                                                                                                                                    Haunted Summer (Image va Amanda Glover)

                                                                                                                                    Haunted Summer (Image va Amanda Glover)

                                                                                                                                    What is your creative process when making tracks?
                                                                                                                                    John and I work in a very collaborative back and forth manner. We like to record the songs as they are conceived, we find that the most honest and pure ideas come before a song has been too overworked. Then we will go back and almost learn the song as it, in a way, wrote itself.

                                                                                                                                    What inspires you lyrically?
                                                                                                                                    Our lyrics are incredibly important to us, and we strive to feel and believe every word we say. Every line comes from personal experiences either in the physical world or our dream world.

                                                                                                                                    How often do you find yourself writing songs?
                                                                                                                                    Since we are on the road so often, our songs are constantly evolving live and it keeps it very fresh. We take our time with new material, it never feels right to push anything out. Creation comes in waves and once it’s ready to be realized, we ride it in and let the music express itself through us.

                                                                                                                                    What was the first song you created as Haunted Summer?
                                                                                                                                    “Young Enough” was the first song we ever wrote together. The version you hear on Something in the Water is the original demo, the absolute conception of the song. It was Thanksgiving day, 2012 and the holiday-quiet was the perfect atmosphere to truly hear each other as solo musical beings. We couldn’t stop writing after that…

                                                                                                                                    How did “All Around” come together?
                                                                                                                                    It details the story of our gratitude to the universe for finding us in our darkest moment and giving us the spark of clarity that brought us together and saved our lives. If you live in truth, the universe will find it’s place for you.

                                                                                                                                    What inspired “Dawn of the Red?”
                                                                                                                                    It’s a take on the old adages of loving something but having to let go and also not appreciating what you have until you no longer have it. Gratitude and unconditional love.

                                                                                                                                    What are your hobbies outside of music?
                                                                                                                                    I think we might be addicted to traveling. We’re so lucky to be in a position that pretty much demands it!

                                                                                                                                    What quote or motto do you live by?
                                                                                                                                    “Be mysterious, be in love, and you will be happy” – Paul Gauguin.

                                                                                                                                    What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
                                                                                                                                    It can be an incredibly tenuous balance keeping a viable home base while constantly touring. We are the lucky few that don’t have to leave our significant other. You miss them; family, friends, jobs…and they don’t always understand that being a musician is far from being on constant vacation. But you know you’d rather be doing this than anything else!

                                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to artists just starting out?
                                                                                                                                    Go for it, get out there; and I mean OUT there. Go to new places, meet new people, create something more than a “scene,” because it’s bigger than that. We are all connected in this giant musical body, and it takes all parts physically communicating to each other to create movement in this body. You could also aim for at least a couch to sleep on in every state!

                                                                                                                                    An Interview with Head for the Hills Member Joe Lessard

                                                                                                                                    Head for the Hills (Image via http://www.headforthehillsmusic.com).

                                                                                                                                    Head for the Hills (Image via http://www.headforthehillsmusic.com).

                                                                                                                                    Head for the Hills is a Fort Collins, Colorado-based progressive bluegrass band. Violin player Joe Lessard recently discussed coming from a musical family, how he became passionate about bluegrass and his love of the Colorado music scene. Head for the Hills plays the Bottleneck April 28th with Steamboat Bandits and the Center State.

                                                                                                                                    Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
                                                                                                                                    Yes, I did personally. I didn’t come from a bluegrass background by any means though, my family’s a bunch of classical musicians. All of us come from pretty different places musically, but bluegrass was a great meeting ground for us to bring in our various musical influences.

                                                                                                                                    What was your earliest musical memory?
                                                                                                                                    My mother is a cellist, so my earliest musical memories involve her playing at our home in Knoxville, TN. I had a violin with no strings on it that I would “play” cello on next to my mom. Ya know, air cello, back before air guitar was a big deal.

                                                                                                                                    What first got you interested in bluegrass?
                                                                                                                                    As a classical violinist, playing Irish and Scottish fiddle tunes was a way for me to escape the strict structure of that world. That naturally led me to the American bluegrass tradition that spawned from such European styles.

                                                                                                                                    How did Head for the Hills first get started?
                                                                                                                                    We all met as freshmen at Colorado State University. Like I said before, we all come from pretty different musical backgrounds, but bluegrass was a perfect mutual interest for us to rally around. We started practicing in a dorm room, then moved to playing house parties and backyards til we could start booking gigs at real music venues. The rest is history!

                                                                                                                                    How does your creative approach work when writing songs? Do you start with lyrics or melody first?
                                                                                                                                    It all depends on the song. We all write in the group, and we often bring pretty complete ideas to the band, then proceed to put on the finishing touches as a group. Other times we have a fraction of an idea or a melody or words and then develop the whole thing more as a band. It’s really nice not having a “front man” for that reason, we’re very diplomatic and sharing duties is part of the whole experience for us.

                                                                                                                                    Your studio albums have a very live feel to them. Do you try to record your songs as live as possible?
                                                                                                                                    Yea, we’re very driven by the live energy at shows and we’re always trying to at least approach that feeling in the studio. We’re striving for a certain amount of perfection in the studio, but doing so in a way that doesn’t sacrifice feeling and that earnest emotion that can be captured in a live performance.

                                                                                                                                    Head for the Hills is based in Fort Collins. What do you enjoy most about the Colorado music scene?
                                                                                                                                    Colorado is definitely a great place to live and play music. We’ve been super fortunate in a lot of ways, but it was particularly meaningful that people from bands like Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band took us under their wing early on and made us feel like part of the scene. Now that we’ve been a band for more than 10 years, we’d like to think we can offer the same sort of support for young bands.

                                                                                                                                    You tour a ton. What have been some of your strangest moments on the road?
                                                                                                                                    That’s a tough one. There’s so many strange moments being on the road, that’s kind of what makes it so fun. I woke up in the middle of a police raid when staying at a stranger’s house one time. He was a home brewer and the neighbors had seen him bringing giant bags of hops into the house and thought it was pot. Weird stuff like that.

                                                                                                                                    Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?
                                                                                                                                    Not really. Just being respectful and easy to work with is a rule I try to adhere to. This is a business of lots of interpersonal relationships where everyone knows everyone else, not being an asshole goes a long way!

                                                                                                                                    What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
                                                                                                                                    Just treating people like you want to be treated is a good start. Banjo player Danny Barnes has a great article on “How to be in someone else’s band” that every musician should read. It definitely applies to all genres, however your band is formatted.

                                                                                                                                    A String of Air Guitar History — An Interview with US World Air Guitar Champion Eric Melin

                                                                                                                                    A String of Air Guitar History —

                                                                                                                                    An Interview with US World Air Guitar Champion Eric Melin

                                                                                                                                    Eric Melin US Air Guitar Championship at The Bottleneck

                                                                                                                                    Some people are born great musicians. Others are born great air rockers. And then there are individuals who seem to have the best of both worlds.

                                                                                                                                    Eric Melin, happens to be one of those individuals. Melin won the 2013 Air Guitar World Championship and on Friday, April 22nd, he will host the first ever US Air Guitar Competition in Lawrence at The Bottleneck.

                                                                                                                                    Below Melin gives a few tips for competitors and talks about his involvement with the competition.

                                                                                                                                    How did you first get involved with US Air Guitar Competition?

                                                                                                                                    I saw the 2007 movie AIR GUITAR NATION through Netflix in 2009 and was like “Holy crap! Competitive air guitar is a thing?” Immediately I got online and started watching amazing videos from US and World Air Guitar shows, and began working on a routine. USAG came to Kansas City for the first time that year, so I entered, won, and went to Nationals in DC. I was floored to see thousands of people screaming and going nuts for these performers. It was like World Wrestling and rock n’ roll all tied up into one absurdly fun package.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    You won the Air Guitar WORLD Competition in 2013. Holy hell. What was that like?

                                                                                                                                    It was the realization of a dream, believe it or not! That year I wrote and recorded an original song with my friend Doug specifically designed to match up with ideas I had for an air guitar routine — and I was hoping it would give me an advantage over my competition. It did, but I still had two more compulsory rounds where I had to make up routines on the spot for songs I had just heard. After a round-three “Air-off” with another American competitor (Doug “The Thunder” Stroock), I came out on top and almost collapsed onstage!

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    What’s your go-to song that you love to rock the air to?

                                                                                                                                    Anything from Megadeth’s “Peace Sells … But Who’s Buying?” record or KISS – Alive!

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Who are your air/guitar player influences?

                                                                                                                                    2008 world champ 2008 Hot Lixx Hulahan is still the king. Look him up on YouTube and weep at the majesty of his talent.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Without stating the obvious, what is the greatest difference between being an air rocker and guitar player?

                                                                                                                                    Freedom. You are not limited by the constraints of a “there” guitar when you play air guitar. You can interpret the music however you want. My advice? Don’t be so literal when you perform. Be creative use your whole body, not just your hands.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    As the first air guitar competition to be held in Lawrence (AND at glorious The Bottleneck), what are you looking forward to most?

                                                                                                                                    This is truly a spectacle that need to be seen live to be understood. I can’t wait to watch the crowd get wowed by the over-the-top commitment and talent on display. I love watching it “click” with an audience. There’s that sweet sweet moment when an audience starts picking favorites and rooting for them and booing judges and getting into it. It can’t be beat. It’s nice to not sit in front of a phone or computer and experience something truly visceral, stupid, and sublime.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    How do you feel about air saxophone and air clarinet players? Is there a place in this world for them? (I’m asking for a friend).

                                                                                                                                    God bless ’em. Sexy Air Sax Man? It could work!

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    What does the competition entail?

                                                                                                                                    Round one is a one-minute routine each competitor has worked up to a song of their choice. The top 5 move on to round two, where we throw songs at them and they have to make up something on the spot. It can be brutal, but that’s where heroes are created!

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    What do the winning air guitar competitors win? Glory? A new Mercedes?

                                                                                                                                    This is the first step on the path to glory. The Top 3 competitors will move on to the Semifinal round. Winners there go to US Air Guitar National Finals in Austin, TX. Winner there moves on to the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, Finland.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    Any sneak peak of who is going to be on this year’s panel of judges?

                                                                                                                                    So far we have Kansas Public Radio’s Laura Lorson, Not So Late Show host Mike Anderson, and Jason Barr, host of the ADD Arts Podcast. Two more will join.

                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                    For those competing, do you have an advice? Sure do. Here are my 11 Commandments of Air.

                                                                                                                                    Want to be a part of US Air Guitar history? Buy your tickets today!

                                                                                                                                     

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